CAMP FLORENDO, La Union: Following orders of the President and the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) implemented its own internal cleansing to determine who among its personnel are facing criminal and administrative cases.
Chief Supt. Gregorio Pimentel, PRO1 director, said he already abolished the Regional Anti-Illegal Drug Group, and will also implement a massive revamp among police chiefs, unit heads and policemen assigned in the provincial offices of Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Ilocos Norte.
He said all personnel were warned not to get involve in anti-illegal drug operations. He instead ordered them to focus on anti-criminality and anti-corruption.
“The anti-drug group is totally abolished and I warned them (personnel) not to be involved in any anti-illegal drug operations. Let the PDEA do the thing now and let us focus on anti-criminality and anti-corruption. But I told them, as police officers, they can still perform even without the mandate on the illegal drugs because drug personalities (DPs) are also law violators. So they are still in our anti-criminality campaign and these DPs are still included. We will treat them as violators of law,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel, however, said PRO1 is not involved in the issue of “tokhang for ransom”.
He said that all the anti-drug group personnel were already accounted for and they will be subjected for reformation.
“Just like a drug personality, we will retrain them (anti-drug personnel) and we will also include those policemen with derogatory reports, those names are in the police blotter, those who have cases. Everything. They will be reviewed,” Pimentel added.
Pimentel took as challenge the recent statement of President Duterte that the PNP is among the most corrupt government organization.
“I was hurt [by the statement], because I lived up to the sworn of service but tarnished by scalawags. I cannot accept the President saying that the PNP is the most corrupt. It really hurts. But I cannot blame him. He has the right to say it and I take those words as challenge,” Pimentel said.
Meanwhile, Pimentel administered the taking of oath of 311 newly appointed police recruits here with Police Officer 1 (PO1) rank and urged them to be the agents of change and work hard for the country.
He also challenged the leadership of Regional Training Center 1 (RTC1) to give the best training and transformation for the recruits.
“I want to start a training that will develop each and every recruit a new breed of officer. An officer that cannot be corrupted, officer that can say no to drugs and officer that is willing to fight against criminality,” he added.
The 311 new police recruits, composed of 100 females and 211 males, were sent to TRC1 in Aringay, La Union for 12 months Field Training Program.
A PO1, the lowest rank in the PNP organization, receives P14, 834 monthly basic pay exclusive of allowances while undergoing training.